Thursday 27 July 2017
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta drew criticism from the chief justice and the nation’s top legal body after he questioned the independence of the judiciary over a court ruling in favor of the main opposition. Kenyatta on Sunday said the courts were “increasingly getting entangled” in what he said was the opposition’s attempts to delay elections scheduled for Aug. 8. Chief Justice David Maraga responded by insisting the judiciary is independent, while the Law Society of Kenya described Kenyatta’s comments as “alarming.” “Where the public comments question the independence of the judiciary or threaten judges, they erode the foundation of the administration of justice and threaten the rule of law,” the body said in an emailed statement on Monday. “It is...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/10/17)
Kenya's chief justice warned President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday not to undermine public confidence in the judiciary, in an unusually sharp exchange between the two men less than a month before national elections are due. Kenyatta had earlier responded to a court victory for the opposition against Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) by cautioning against any use of the court process to delay the elections. "They are taking us for fools," he told an election rally in the western county of Baringo, referring to the judiciary.
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Kenyan opposition presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, was discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for suspected food poisoning at a hospital in the coastal Mombasa city, spokesman Salim Lone said. The former prime minister was back in the capital, Nairobi, and will undergo further medical tests on Monday before resuming political campaigns ahead of the Aug. 8 elections, Lone said by phone. “It’s possibly food poisoning, dehydration and exhaustion,” Lone said. “He is much better now. There is no cause for concern.” Odinga is leading a five-party coalition that’s seeking to stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from securing a second term at elections.
(The Associated Press 07/10/17)
Al-Shabab extremists from neighboring Somalia beheaded nine civilians in an attack on a village in Kenya's southeast early Saturday, officials said, adding to growing concerns the Islamic militant group has taken up a bloody new strategy. The attack occurred in Jima village in Lamu County, said James Ole Serian, who leads a task force of security agencies combating the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab. Beheadings by al-Shabab have been rare in Kenya, even as the group has carried out dozens of deadly attacks over the years. Beheadings are not uncommon in Somalia, where the extremists carry them out on people who are believed to be enemies and to terrorize local populations. This East Africa country has seen an increase in attacks claimed by...
(Xinhuanet 07/10/17)
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Monday that mobile phone-driven cash has helped it prevent nearly 250,000 people from slipping into severe food insecurity in drought-ravaged Kenya. IFRC said the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) has given monthly grants of 30 U.S. dollars to more than 41,000 drought-affected families spread across 13 counties over the past three months using the M-Pesa mobile phone-based money transfer service. "The results speak for themselves, and we hope that this program can be expanded in Kenya and replicated in other countries battling chronic hunger in Africa," said IFRC Regional Director for Africa Fatoumata Nafo-Traore. "It's better for the people in need of help. It's cheaper and more efficient...
(Xinhuanet 07/10/17)
Kenya on Monday launched a National Trade Policy that aims to boost the country's foreign exchange earnings, a senior official said Monday. The new policy adds impetus to the robust trade policy reforms that the country has pursued under regional and multilateral trade arrangements. "The new trade policy articulates provisions that are geared toward promoting efficiency in the growth of domestic trade through transformational measures that address the constraints impeding against the development of the wholesale, retail and informal sectors," said National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich. Speaking during the opening of the Kenya Trade Week, Rotich said currently most of foreign exchange earnings are from foreign direct investments. "The national trade policy will help to increase volume of exports...
(Xinhuanet 07/10/17)
Kenya's opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga was discharged from hospital in the coastal city of Mombasa on Sunday night, his adviser confirmed on Monday. Salim Lone said the former prime minister who leads the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition would be subjected to more medical tests in Nairobi after spending a few hours undergoing treatment in Mombasa. "Odinga is doing very well this morning," Lone said. The opposition leader was rushed to the hospital after addressing several political rallies in the coastal region. Speaking to journalists and hundred of supporters after he was discharged in Mombasa, Odinga who is seeking to stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from securing a second term in office at August elections, said he had been cleared...
(Xinhuanet 07/10/17)
Kenya on Monday announced a drastic salary cut for all cadres of state employees in a bid to tame a ballooning wage bill that is to blame for the sluggish economic growth. Sarah Serem, Chairperson of Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), said the pay cut for state officials will be accompanied by abolition of mileage and sitting allowances to cushion the Kenyan tax payers from inflationary pressures. "The revised monthly salary for state employees factors critical issues like cost of living and the state of our economy. It promotes the constitutional spirit of competitive remuneration and will enhance productivity among state officers," Serem told journalists in Nairobi. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will be affected by...
(Xinhuanet 07/10/17)
Kenya's final preparations for the London 2017 IAAF World Championships are set to begin in earnest from Monday after top athletes started trickling into their residential training camp in Nairobi. Beijing 2015 Worlds champions, Ezekiel Kemboi (men's 3000m steeplechase) and David Rudisha (men's 800m) as well as men's 10,000m silver medallist, Geoffrey Kamworor are among the handful of athletes who made it to camp by Sunday. Two-time Olympic champion Rudisha who is bidding for a third world title having won the two-lap crown at the Daegu 2011 edition in South Korea and China two years ago reassured on his form after an underwhelming season by his standards. "I was worse off last year when I started and it has been...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
Kenya's government on Saturday announced the death of Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery at a hospital in the capital Nairobi. Nkaissery, 68, a retired army officer, had held the position of cabinet secretary for interior and coordination of national government since late 2014. "It is with deep sorrow and shock that we announce the sudden passing on of Interior CS Retired General Joseph Nkaissery," said a statement from Kenya's State House. It said Nkaissery died "at Karen Hospital in Nairobi a few hours after being admitted for a check-up" without providing further...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
At least nine people were shot and hacked to death in Kenya's coastal Lamu County early Saturday, in the latest attack on the area. Police sources said Shabaab militants were believed to be behind the killings which took place in Jima and Pandaguo villages near the Somali border -- an area that has seen a wave of recent attacks, mostly targeting the security forces. "Nine people were killed, some were shot dead and others hacked (to death)," said a regional police officer who was not authorised to speak to the press. All the victims are civilians. A senior officer at police headquarters in Nairobi confirmed the incident. "It is true, we have lost nine people in today's attack," the officer...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
A Kenyan court on Friday cancelled a contract to print presidential ballot papers for next month's elections after the opposition claimed the winning company had links to President Uhuru Kenyatta. The election commission had awarded the $24 million contract to Dubai-based Al Ghurair. A panel of three High Court judges said the process had lacked transparency and ordered a re-tendering which lawyers for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) intend to challenge, saying it could delay national polls due on August 8. The company is still permitted to print ballot papers for parliamentary, county and other elections being held on the same day. But with polling day just a month away, "There is absolutely no time available to engage...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/07/17)
Hamara Hujale tries to keep an eye on two squirming children and a pot of simmering ugali – a white doughy dish – as she reaches for her buzzing phone. After speaking a few words, she hangs up and scribbles in a wrinkled notebook. "My driver has found another customer so won't be back for another 30 minutes," she says with a satisfied smile. Hujale, who lives in the northeast Kenyan town of Wajir, used to make and sell kitchen utensils, "mostly to pastoralists who would use them as dowry for their daughters' weddings". "But as they lost their animals to drought, they had no money left to buy my products. So I had to find an alternative," she said...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
Three policemen were killed Wednesday in seven hours of fighting with suspected Shabaab militants who attacked their post in southeastern Kenya, police said. Regional police chief Akello Odhiambo said the attackers raided the Pandanguo Police Camp in the coastal Lamu region. "They razed a police camp and destroyed a Safaricom mast, disrupting communication among the security personnel based in Lamu. The gun fight took over seven hours before security agents took over the area," he said. He said army officers in a nearby camp were among the first to respond and engaged the Shabaab in aerial and ground fighting. A separate police statement said "three officers are confirmed dead, one is seriously injured and 14 were unhurt". One officer was...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(AFP (eng) 07/05/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will not take part in two planned televised debates with his main rival Raila Odinga ahead of the August 8 election, his party said on Wednesday. The first of the debates organised by a consortium of Kenyan media was scheduled for Monday and the second on July 24. "President Uhuru Kenyatta will not participate in the presidential debates," David Murathe, vice chairman of the ruling Jubilee Party said Wednesday, citing insufficient consultation and format issues. Kenyatta and Odinga are the only two candidates with more than five percent in recent opinion polls and were thus meant to go head to head. The other six candidates are due to participate in an earlier debate. Kenya held its...
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Kenya is in the midst of a frantic eleventh hour effort to be ready to stage the IAAF World under-18 athletics championship next week. No less than 1,400 athletes from 130 countries are expected to arrive in Nairobi for the four-day competition, which is the final meet of the World U18 competition. On Tuesday the athletes' village at Kenyatta University was declared ready, but the organising committee acknowledged a lot of work still needed to be done to complete the main competition venue, the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, Nairobi. "We are undergoing a big test as the organising committee, and as the people of Kenya, to make sure we stage the best athletics championships ever," the World U18...

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